Accessibility links

Breaking News

St. Petersburg Subway Bombing Suspect Detained 'In Kyrgyzstan, Not Russia'

Akram Azimov, brother of the alleged organizer of the St. Petersburg subway bombing, Abror Azimov, at a court hearing in Moscow on April 20.
Akram Azimov, brother of the alleged organizer of the St. Petersburg subway bombing, Abror Azimov, at a court hearing in Moscow on April 20.

JALAL-ABAD, Kyrgyzstan -- The mother of a suspect Russian authorities said was arrested in Moscow in connection with a deadly bombing earlier this month on a St. Petersburg subway train says her son was detained in Kyrgyzstan, not in Russia.

Vazira Mirzakhmedova told RFE/RL on April 21 that her son, Akram Azimov, was taken away by Kyrgyz security officers on April 15 from a hospital in the city of Osh, where he was being treated after surgery. According to Mirzakhmedova, Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security refused to explain her son's detainment. She also says that Akram did not have either money or his passport with him to be able to travel to Russia.

"Several days later, television reports said he was detained in Moscow," Mirzakhmedova said.

A medical personnel member at the Osh hospital who asked not to be named, confirmed to RFE/RL that Azimov underwent sinusitis surgery at the facility and was a patient from April 12-15. He said several men in civilian clothes took Azimov away after handcuffing him on April 15.

Bakyt Seitov, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, did not confirm or deny the information, saying only that Russian citizens can be quickly deported to Russia.

Officials from Russia's Investigative Committee on April 20 said Azimov had been apprehended the previous day in Moscow and he was armed with a hand grenade at the time of his arrest.

Russian news agencies carried footage provided by the Investigative Committee showing what they said was Azimov's arrest.

It shows a man sitting on a bus-stop bench and being roughly grabbed by men in FSB jackets.

Azimov, 29, is the brother of another suspect in the case, Abror Azimov, 26, who was detained on April 17 and ordered held in custody.

Both brothers are ethnic-Uzbek Russian citizens born in Kyrgyzstan. Eight other detained suspects are also of Central Asian origin.

Investigators say the bombing was a suicide attack carried out by the 22-year-old Akbarjon Jalilov, also an ethnic-Uzbek Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan.

Authorities say they suspect Abror Azimov organized the bombing.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.